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Long before it became SWOSU, the University was first the Southwestern Normal School, established by an act of the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1901. The Normal School was authorized to offer two years of training and four years of preparatory work for students who were not qualified for college admission. The first classes met in 1903. Since then, the University has held four names and grown into an accomplished four-year university.

More information on the history of SWOSU, as well as its mission statement and strategic plan, can be found here.